From knights in castles to armed security teams, protecting property has been an issue for centuries. Through trial and error, security systems have evolved to help individuals and business owners secure their belongings. However, some methods are better than others. Here to share his top two security systems for commercial buildings is OEC’s master locksmith, Eddie Pacheco.
OEC: Eddie, between starting as a vehicle locksmith to becoming a master locksmith for buildings, you have seen a lot of security solutions. Which solutions do you recommend your commercial office customers use to secure their facilities?
Eddie: I have two systems that I prefer to use. They differ in function, but both provide heightened security without all the headaches. The more traditional solution I recommend is IC Cores.
IC Cores save time and energy when you need to rekey. Rather than taking apart all the door hardware to rekey the lock, all the locksmith has to do is walk up with a control key, pop out the existing lock, and pop in a new core. It is fast and efficient and gets the building up and running in no time.
IC cores work exceptionally well in large corporations with chain stores or large campuses. For example, a forward-thinking chain like AutoZone plans ahead for security. With so many locations around the US, they must share a similar system.
IC Cores come into play when a site needs to rekey its locks. In AutoZone’s case, they already have a new set of cores ready for installation that will match their other locks.
IC Cores For Campuses
For a building with multiple campuses, IC Cores are an easy way to implement a Master Lock control system. Generally, there is a Grand Master key, held by the facilities manager, that works for everything. Then you can set up locks for different buildings and have a key that only opens one.
This helps narrow down the access people have to certain buildings. Then you can have keys that only open specific locks within a building, say an individual office. So, the facilities manager can open any lock in the entire campus, but the employee is limited to one room. All the while, it is one easily replaceable lock managing all the access.
OEC: What other solution do you recommend our customers use?
Eddie: The other system I have seen many property management companies use is an access control solution. This system allows building managers to control who has access to a building at any time. It is an electronic system run using a panel.
In the past, people would have badges that allowed them to scan into a building. However, badges could be given away or even stolen to get into a building. This presented a major security risk.
Today, access control runs using mobile credentials requiring authentication and authorization. Since everyone has their phone with them all the time, it acts as their key into the building. Employees are much more reluctant to hand someone their phone than a badge, which helps improve security and prevent unauthorized access.
Even if an employee’s phone gets stolen, the access control manager can revoke access to that device at anytime. It also gives building managers peace of mind in the case of an employee termination.
Since the employee uses a phone rather than a key, the building owner does not have to track down the physical key. With a key, you never know if it was duplicated, lost, or stolen. With access control, you have complete control over who can access the building.
Similar to using IC Cores, access control can give role-based access control (rbac) to individuals. While the facilities manager is authorized to access everything in real time, employees may be given only discretionary access control (dac).
Companies Who Would Benefit From Access Control
OEC: What are some buildings that can benefit most from implementing an access control system?
Eddie: I have a hospital where I do a lot of work. I am in the building three to four times in any given month, changing locks and fixing hardware. As a hospital, the locks are in use around the clock. One lock could be opened with a key at least one hundred times a day.
With so much use, the cores get worn out, and employees can’t access the rooms. That leads to Friday night or weekend calls asking me to come in and fix a lock so they can get back to business.
If the hospital implemented an access control system, it wouldn’t have so many lock issues. Rather than using physical access control like a key that wears down the cylinders, it would be electrified hardware opening the door. Employees wouldn’t have to worry about people getting a hold of lost keys; they would use their phones (which are password protected). There would be no more late-night or weekend calls for service because the hardware would last longer and work better.
In the end, when locks fail, it is because they are old. The more we can do to replace locks easily or use access control systems, the more time and money companies save on security.
Learn more about OEC’s: Total Door Works capabilities today!
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